Do you think women in the Bible struggled over the way their bodies looked? I wonder.
Surely there were different body types even then. But we seem to have taken this weight thing to a whole new level.
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, most people probably wouldn't call me fat (certainly not to my face). But I’m pretty sure that no one thinks of me as skinny either. I suppose I'm somewhere in between. But that doesn't exempt me from body image issues.
Of the four girls in my family, I'm the youngest but the ‘biggest’. And have been from the time I was about 15. Hmmm...talk about body consciousness.
I think my college years were probably the worse.
You see, in the Caribbean we seem to think that commenting on someone's weight is an endearing form of greeting. "Hi, you got so big", was my least favourite greeting. And it seemed as though I heard that every single time I went home during college breaks.
As I grew older, got married and started having children, the weight comments continued. To the point where I could see a difference in the way I felt about my body -- and about myself -- based on the comments others made.
And we won’t even mention the jokes about my hips. Let’s not go there.
So why is our identity so tied up in our body image? Why is it so hard to love our bodies just the way they are?
I don't pretend to have the answers to these ‘big’ questions but here are 3 things I know to be true when it comes to loving my body.
1. God loves me in spite of my dress size
I am so grateful that God's love for me doesn't fluctuate with every movement on the scale. And the same goes for you, dear sister.
No matter what the scale tells you, remember that you are a beautiful, beloved daughter of the King.
"Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.”
Isaiah 43:4 NIV
2. My body deserves the best
My body is God's temple and as such I need to treat it with the respect it deserves.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
Taking care of my body includes my diet, exercise and generally making healthy choices. This is not about fixating on the number on the scale or what the girl next door looks like.
Rather, I need to consider if I’m really doing my best to honor my body. If not, what one small change can I make today? If you need some tips, read this article, 6 Ways to Boost Your Health for Exhausted Mamas.
3. My identity is not wrapped up in my outward appearance
The world would like to have me think otherwise, but who I am is not based on how I look.
Just like how I shouldn't be judged by the colour of my skin, similarly my size shouldn't dictate who I am in your eyes. Bottom line is that I am so much more than a body type.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
1 Peter 2:9 NIV
My hope and prayer is that you will let go of whatever lies the world’s telling you and dig into God’s word for some real truth. And the truth is, you are so much more than a number on the scale!
How about you?
What is one thing you know to be true about loving your body?
Please share it in the comments to help another sister love her body too.